How to Make a 9 Patch Quilt Block

By Rebekah Martin

Quilt-making is an art that is often passed down through the generations. The nine-patch block is one of the simplest quilt blocks to make, yet it looks deceptively difficult when finished. Gather your fabric together; alternating light and dark colors and shades gives the block more depth.

Decide on the size of your quilt block. Large quilts typically have larger blocks that are 9 to 15 inches square. Smaller projects, like pillows and wall hangings, can have smaller blocks. Divide the size of your block by three to determine the size of each square in the block. Add 1/2 inch to the measurements to allow for seam allowances. In this example, the finished block will be 9 inches square. Each unsewn patch should measure 3 1/2 inches so the finished patches are 3 inches.

Cut your fabric into strips of fabric 3 1/2 inches wide. The length can be as long as you wish, as you will be cutting it to size later. Make sure it is at least 10 inches long. The longer you make it, the more squares you can get from it.

Sew two strips in different colors together by laying one strip on top of the other, right sides together. Sew a 1/4-inch seam along one side and cut the thread ends. Sew one more strip, laying it right side down on one of your previously sewn strips. Be sure to alternate the colors or shades of fabric. Repeat with three more strips; start with the opposite color from the first set. You should now have two lengths of fabric made up of three smaller strips.

Iron the sewn strips flat, being sure the seam allowances lay toward the darker fabric. Lay the piece on the table and measure 3 1/2 inches down from one end; cut along that line across all three strips. Keep your cutting line straight. Measure 3 1/2 inches down from your cut line and cut again. Continue until you have three short strips, or you reach the end of your piece. Repeat with the other set of strips.

Lay one section on the table, placing another section just under it. The sets should have alternate colors. Place a third section under the second; it should look just like the first section. You have now laid out the first block.

Put the middle section on top of the first section, right sides together. Sew them together with a 1/4-inch seam. Trim the thread. Open the pieces and lay the third section on top of the second section with right sides together. Sew them together with a 1/4-inch seam. Open the pieces and trim the thread.

Iron the block flat, pressing the seams to one side. Repeat the above steps until you have enough blocks for your quilt.

Tip

Your fabric doesn't have to be in any particular shade or pattern; use scraps to make a bright colorful quilt.

About the Author

Rebekah Martin is a freelance writer and tutor. Her work has appeared in various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Mississippi College. Martin teaches her young children at home and also teaches Sunday School to preschoolers.